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45 FRs finish de-radicalization training

FORTY-FIVE former rebels (FRs) finished the six-day de-radicalization program from Nov. 6 to Nov. 11 conducted by the 30th Infantry  Battalion (30IB) and the 901st Infantry Brigade at the Tesda Provincial Training Center in Barangay Bad-as, Placer, Surigao del Norte.

On Nov. 6, Lt. Col. Jerold H. Jale, commanding officer of the 30IB, addressed the 45 FRs composed of high-value individuals and regular armed members of the Communist Terrorist Group (CTG) operating in Surigao del Norte and nearby provinces in Caraga Region. 

“I personally thank each and every one of you for your willingness and voluntary attendance to undergo this training program that seeks to address the radical indoctrination inculcated to you and the need to transform your attitudes prior to your reintegration into mainstream society. I am sure that you will be able to gain a lot of valuable learning experiences that will guide you in your eventual transformation,” Jale said in his message.

The program was facilitated by selected Army personnel, resource speakers from the different partner agencies, religious groups, and highly-trained mentors who are also former rebels who have occupied high positions in the underground movement. 

One of the emphasis of the training was directed at the psychosocial aspect of the participants such as knowing-the-self and community, sharing of God’s words, building trust, and other team-building activities.

One of the participants who is a former high-ranking member said, “I was deeply touched and have seen the real me through these activities. I was awakened by all the realities in life and finally realized I had sinned a lot with my fellow human beings by taking their lives and destroying the future of their children.”

” I ask for an apology and forgiveness for what I have done to the government, especially to the members of the AFP particularly the Philippine Army and the PNP,” the former rebels said.

“To my fellow FRs, I also ask for your forgiveness for I know we are all victims of false ideologies and blinded by the propaganda and lies done by the CTGs,” he said.”It is not yet too late for us to take a new beginning, let us all embrace the new chapters of our lives that there is still hope for us to change for the better. “

The former rebels also called on the remaining NPA members to abandon the armed struggle. 

“We are the living testimony contrary to the propaganda of the NPA that once you surrender you will be tortured and killed by the soldiers or the police. The government is very sincere in looking after the welfare of the FRs and provided necessary assistance to us and our families. Join us and let us work together towards peace and prosperity for our families and to our community,” he further said.

Col. Arsenio DC Sadural, 901st Infantry (Fight ‘EM) Brigade commander, was the guest of honor and speaker during the closing ceremony. In his message, he said, “This program is for your ultimate freedom by equipping you with the essential things and needed information to guide you towards an orderly and peaceful life for yourself and your families.”

“I strongly believe that through this program, it will make a big difference to your lives, to your families and to the community where you would choose to settle in the near future,” Sadural said. 


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